Redes places clinical trial issues high on priority list

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April 28, 2003

With the heightened emphasis nationally on increasing minority participation in cancer research, Redes En Acción has responded with a host of related projects in recent months. The initiative is involved in clinical trial issues on several fronts, including studies specifically aimed at learning more about Latino and other Special Populations' knowledge, attitudes and behaviors with regard to cancer genetics.

The wide-ranging Redes En Acción projects include:

The National Latino Genetic Community Consultation Network. Supported by the National Institutes of Health, this project is promoting public involvement among the Latino population in the decision-making process regarding genetic research and genetic health care. A major goal is to identify methods and opportunities to increase genetic research (both basic and behavioral) and educational needs among Latinos.

Redes En Acción researchers are developing a network of Latino stakeholders in genetics issues, and inviting a cross-section of key opinion leaders from the Hispanic community to a pilot community consultation June 22-24 in Washington, D.C. Primary purpose of the community consultation will be to identify and prioritize genetics issues on research, education and health care delivery affecting the Hispanic/Latino population.

National Media Campaign. In 2001-02, Redes En Acción produced several bilingual television and radio public service announcements (PSAs) and launched a nationwide public awareness campaign informing Latinos about the availability of cancer studies and benefits of participation in cancer clinical trials.

This year Redes En Acción will take the campaign, which in the past has relied on non-paid airtime donations by national TV/radio media, to another level of exposure. In this phase, the initiative plans to conduct a comparison study, using combinations of paid advertising spots and public relations in selected regions and the PSAs using only donated airtime in the control area. The project will evaluate the responses to these strategies in terms of inquiry phone calls from the Latino public to the Cancer Information Service.

Evaluation of Recruitment Materials. A bilingual educational booklet, Buena Vida: A Guide to Family Cancer Research, is the focus of a collaborative project involving Redes En Acción, the NCI Cancer Genetics Network (CGN) and Texas Cancer Genetics Consortium (TCGC).

The project will study response in the Latino community to the TCGC-funded and Redes En Acción-produced publication, a 24-page magazine-format booklet designed to educate the public about cancer clinical trials and increase enrollment of Latinos in the CGN Registry.

Breast Cancer Genetics Survey. Redes En Acción recently completed the first phase of the Breast Cancer Genetics Education Materials and Programs Development Project, which was funded by the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. In this phase, researchers developed a culturally appropriate and tailored survey to collect breast cancer genetics knowledge, attitudes and behavior among Latino, African American, Asian American, Appalachian and Native American women.

In subsequent phases of the project, plans call for administration of the survey, assessment of the collected data, and design and dissemination of customized breast cancer genetic educational materials among the five minority ethnic populations.

Scientific Publications. Redes En Acción researchers are working on several manuscripts. One describes the literature to date on challenges to the identification and recruitment of minority populations to cancer clinical trials. Another paper is detailing the experiences of the Cancer Genetics Network's education activities and providing recommendations for a national education policy on cancer genetics.

Yet another manuscript will discuss Latino and non-Hispanic physician knowledge, attitudes and behaviors regarding clinical trials recruitment and their patients. Data from this paper are drawn from a national survey of physicians recently conducted by Redes En Acción.

Some of these cancer research projects have been reported in previous issues of the Redes Report. Readers of the newsletter will continue to be updated on these initiatives and will be provided greater detail on new and existing projects in future issues of the Redes Report.

What Is Redes En Acción? Redes En Acción is a major NCI-supported initiative to combat cancer among Latinos through a nationwide network of community-based organizations, research institutions, government health agencies and the public. Core activities include promoting cancer training and research opportunities for Latino students and researchers, generating research projects on key Latino cancer issues, and supporting cancer awareness activities within the Latino community.

The initiative is coordinated by the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and San Antonio, with regional network centers in San Antonio, New York, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco and San Diego.